Committee on the Rights of the Child: New Zealand

Session 056 (2011)

(11 April 2011, CRC/C/NZL/CO/3-4, Concluding observations on third/fourth report, paras. 28 and 29)

"The Committee welcomes the new section 59 (1) of the Crimes Act (1961), which abolishes the legal use of parental force for the purposes of correction.

"The Committee recommends that the State party heighten public awareness about section 59 (1) of the Crimes Act and continue to promote positive and non-violent forms of discipline in childrearing."

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Session 034 (2003)

(27 October 2003, CRC/C/15/Add.216, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 4, 29 and 30)

"While acknowledging the attention that the State party has given to the implementation of the recommendations contained in the Committee’s previous concluding observations (CRC/C/15/Add.71) adopted following the consideration of the State party’s initial report (CRC/C/28/Add.3), the Committee is particularly concerned about … the prohibition of corporal punishment and the establishment of mechanisms to ensure the recovery of victims of ill-treatment and abuse (para.29).

"The Committee is deeply concerned that despite a review of legislation, the State party has still not amended section 59 of the Crimes Act 1961, which allows parents to use reasonable force to discipline their children. While welcoming the Government’s public education campaign to promote positive, non-violent forms of discipline within the home, the Committee emphasizes that the Convention requires the protection of children from all forms of violence, which includes corporal punishment in the family and which should be accompanied by awareness-raising campaigns on the law and on children’s right to protection.

"The Committee recommends that the State party:

a) amend legislation to prohibit corporal punishment in the home;

b) strengthen public education campaigns and activities aimed at promoting positive, non-violent forms of discipline and respect for children’s right to human dignity and physical integrity, while raising awareness about the negative consequences of corporal punishment."

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Session 014 (1997)

(24 January 1997, CRC/C/15/Add.71, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 16 and 29)

"The Committee expresses its concern at the authorization provided by section 59 of the Crimes Act to use physical force against children as punishment within the family, provided that the force is reasonable in the circumstances. Moreover, the Committee notes the insufficient measures taken to address the issue of illtreatment and abuse, including sexual abuse, within the family, as well as issues of physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of children victims of such ill-treatment or abuse.

"The Committee recommends that the State party review legislation with regard to corporal punishment of children within the family in order to effectively ban all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse. It further recommends that appropriate mechanisms be established to ensure the physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of children victims of such ill-treatment and abuse, in the light of article 39 of the Convention."

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